My last post implied that it would take awhile to get through the images from last weeks trip with Eric to New Mexico. I have proven that to be true. The reject rate right now is about 30% and every once in awhile I run into a file that just yells at me to stop and process it. Hence, this post even though I am far from being done with all the images.
The Bosque is all about birds. We went there for the birds and we were not disappointed. As I mentioned before, we shot from before sunrise to after sundown every day. We pushed our cameras to their limits and, in my case, beyond. We shot in dull light, wonderful light, overly bright light and magical light. There were more birds than I’ve ever seen there before… roughly 35,000 ducks, 37,000 light geese (Snow geese and Ross geese) and about 7,500 Sandhill cranes. The numbers were in our favor.
Before our trip I went back through over 3000 images from past trips to the Bosque. I made a list of things to make sure to do and NOT do. I seem to have forgotten most of the lessons I learned and still shot “butt shots” of cranes and geese fleeing the scene. Silly. I shot profiles of birds in glide profile where you can’t see their heads or beaks or wings… terminally silly. I shot many out of focus shots. I shot under and over exposed images. With all that said I still had a higher percentage of sharp images than ever before. I credit that to all the practice sessions Eric and I have had at Ridgefield, the new focus technology in the Nikon D800, an exposure and focus technique presented by Rober O’Toole in his ebook on Nikon cameras and two remarkably sharp lenses. Honestly, with all the technology I held in my hands, my experience and information consumed, you’d think I’d nail every shot. What can I say? It ain’t all that easy.
As I prepare to finish for the night I reviewed the “picks” from the collection so far. I’m pleased. I offer you a selection of images and birds taken at optimal times and way past the light that reasonable photos can be made. I have a hard time not uttering “oh my” when I look at these images full screen on a good monitor. The resolving power of the D800 is truly remarkable. Anybody need a billboard of a Sandhill crane? I can help.
Click on any image below to see a larger version. Thanks for viewing.